Brazil official seeks nuclear sub for Tupi

Brazilian Defense Minster Nelson Jobim claims that a new oil discovery off Brazil underlines the need for his country to develop a nuclear submarine for protection.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 -- Brazilian Defense Minster Nelson Jobim claims that a new oil discovery off Brazil underlines the need for his country to develop a nuclear submarine for protection.

"When you have a large natural source of wealth discovered in the Atlantic, it's obvious you need the means to protect it," Jobim told a defense conference in Rio de Janeiro.

Jobim's statement followed a Nov. 8 announcement by the Brazilian government and Petroleo Brasileiro SA that 5-8 billion bbl of oil and associated gas had been found in the block containing offshore Tupi field in the Santos basin (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2007).

The discovery well is in 2,126 m of water.

Meanwhile, Petrobras said it will drill 32 wells to appraise the area around Tupi field, according to Hugo Repsold, general manager for exploration and production.

The field is in a presalt frontier extending through the Espirito Santo, Campos, and Santos basins.

Petrobras has a 65% stake in Tupi field, while BG Group PLC holds 25%, and Portugal's Galp Energia has the remaining 10%.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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